Optical Audio cables are very tough to shop for, especially when you are not someone who is technologically inclined. It is definitely a great investment, though, and is extremely useful in its features.
To make your job easier, we scoured the internet and found you the best optical audio cables. These options will fulfil every need of yours, and are available at every price point. We have included only the best ones for you, so quality will not be something you need to question!
What does an optical audio cable do?
An optical audio cable is a particular kind of cable that can be used to send audio signals between various devices while retaining more signal fidelity than some other signal transfer techniques. These cables can be made in a variety of ways, but they all use optical fibres to convey a signal that can be seen as red light. Optical fibres are typically composed of quartz glass or fibre optics.
Although many high definition televisions (HDTVs) use these cables as well, optical audio cables are often used to connect devices that employ digital audio signals, such as audio transmissions between a compact disc (CD) player and a receiver.
The optical audio cable, also known as a ToshibaTM Link or TOSLINKTM cable, was initially created by ToshibaTM for audio signals between CD players and stereo receivers. Since then, it has evolved into the industry standard for digital audio signal transmission between devices. This kind of cable is known generically as “optical audio cable,” and any manufacturer’s cables can be referred to by this name. The output and input connections of various audio devices and circuits can be connected to the single terminals that these cables normally have at each end.
An optical audio cable can often be as long as 32 feet (10 metres), though shorter lengths are frequently used. Although longer cables are possible, signal loss usually happens unless a signal booster is employed along the wire. An optical audio cable can be used to connect a wide range of gadgets, including common media player gadgets like CD players and receivers for home theatre sound systems.
In order to assure better sound quality, HDTVs frequently feature connections for optical audio that enable an audio signal to be transferred from the TV to a receiver, typically for a home theatre system. It is advised to try to use HDMI cables in place of optical audio connections, as much as possible because of one singular reason. Higher-quality audio, including Blu-ray codecs like Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, can be sent via HDMI cables. However, this feature cannot be performed by optical audio cables.
Use an optical audio cable only in the case that you have older equipment that does not support HDMI. To know more about this, you can watch the video below.
Factors to look for
Now that you know what the purpose of an optical audio cable is, you are probably looking for the best one in the market right now. Well, before we give you the 9 optical audio cable to choose from in 2023, it is important to know what characteristics are the most important while shopping for an optical audio cable. A good mixture of all these characteristics will make for the best optical audio cable you can buy.
Due to their greater bandwidth needs, optical audio cables will usually cost more than digital coaxial cables. They don’t interact with other surrounding electrical devices, but as a trade-off, they perform better when replicating digital signals.
As a result, the type of optical cable you decide to buy will have a big impact on the price you charge. Quartz fibre cables are substantially more expensive than plastic fibre cables of the same standard length of 5 metres. Additionally, some cables have connectors that are 24k gold-plated to enhance signal transmission and lessen corrosion. The cost of the cable, however, can potentially increase quite a bit as a result of this.
Make sure that you are only buying the cable that fulfils your requirements without added factors that will not be of help to you.
It is advised that the length of your optical audio cable remains under 10 metres since it reduces the reliability of the transmission. Usually, optical audio cables frequently have a maximum length of 5 metres and require an additional signal booster if they are longer than that. A signal booster would cost extra money as well, so it is recommended to buy an optical audio cables under 10 metres unless you absolutely require it.
For instance, let’s say you need lengths of more than 100 feet. An optical cable composed of molten quartz would be your ideal choice in that situation because it will produce outcomes of a higher calibre. Alternatvely, let’s say you only require a short wire as an example. In that situation, an optical fibre cable composed of plastic may be used.
It is clear from the above examples that length of the wire has an impact on what materials the wire is made up of, and subsequently, the price of the wire.
The performance of the 5 mm and 8 mm cables is identical. This is due to the fact that the connections are unaffected by the width, which is simply the cable’s outer diameter. There is therefore no distinction between the two sizes. But you should be aware that thicker cables endure longer and frequently include a protective nylon mesh covering on the outside. That is something that you might want to think about.
The difference in quality between several types of optical audio cable is not particularly noticeable. For instance, let’s say you have a very advanced system but average hearing. If so, it is unlikely that using a less expensive brand in place of a more expensive one will result in any changes being heard. Even if you have a very good system, this is the fact.
For the best performance, your optical audio connection must have a bandwidth that falls between 9 MHz and 11 MHz. This connection will perform more efficiently the more bandwidth it has. It is crucial to remember, though, that smaller consumer goods, like CD players, would not suffer a quality loss as a result of constrained bandwidth in the same way that a home theatre system would.
9 Optical Audio Cables to choose from in 2023
These optical audio cables are the best in the market right now, with a variety of different characteristics to fulfil your needs. Pick the cable that fits your budget and requirements the best.
FosPower 24K Gold Plated Toslink Digital Optical Audio Cable
Pure metal connectors and a fiber-optic core are included in the FosPower 24K Gold Plated Toslink Digital Optical Audio Cable. This cable was made by FosPower to ensure that dependability wouldn’t be an issue. This cable is a great option to take into consideration if you plan to start a sound system in your home.
This optical audio cable is truly one of the best in the market right now. Considering that it is roughly half the price of the bulk of the existing models, this device will amaze you with its compatibility and signal quality. As a reliable and fairly priced product, we are sure that you will love it as much as we do. This should definitely be one of your top picks.
The cable’s high degree of compatibility with a wide range of electrical devices serves as proof. Therefore, whether it’s a soundbar, Blu-ray player, or even a gaming console, you should expect nothing less than great and seamless sound transmission from the gadget. In addition, FosPower built the device with interesting jacket protection. The amount of internal optical damage that unintended kinks may cause is reduced by this jacket protection, which is lined with a thick layer of interwoven nylon.
The product was also created by FosPower to be corrosion-free and damage-resistant. The conductors, ferrules, and connector points of the cable are all 24k gold-plated. The cable’s gold plating allows for some of its components to operate independently and without interference. This is definitely one of our most recommended optical audio cables, and we hope it works as well for you as it did for us!
Amazon Basics CL3 Rated Optical Audio Digital Toslink Cable
Let’s say you place the highest priority on cost effectiveness and are searching for the best quality at the lowest price. In that situation, the AmazonBasics CL3 Optical Audio Cable is a perfect choice. There are five different lengths of this Toslink cable, ranging from 6 feet to 35 feet, an optical audio that gives you great quality even on a budget.
You can quickly plug it in and make sure it’s connected properly because it comes with all the desired qualities you want built right in, like gold plating on the connections and pleasant handling. This version’s PVC covering increases the product’s durability and protection.
This gadget makes it possible to effectively route this wire through the wall of your home theatre to hide it from view. Amazon purposely used materials that emit the least amount of smoke when creating this arrangement to reduce the chance of a fire starting there.
We know how tough it is to find products that do not burn a hole in your pocket but do not compromise on quality at the same time. That is why we recommend to you the Amazon Basics CL3 Rated Optical Audio Digital Toslink Cable, made out of high-quality materials that produce extremely high-bodied sound, which makes the TV-watching experience so much more immersive.
Syncwire Fiber Optic Audio Cord
Do you get frustrated fiddling with subpar audio fiber optic cables? If so, this might be the thing for you! The fiber optic digital audio cable from Syncwire is a high-definition cable that can transmit audio signals between devices in the best possible way.
Even first-time owners will find the ergonomic design of this optic cord variant appealing. Using this product shouldn’t be difficult thanks to its detachable rubber tip covers and easy-to-grip connecting tips. Additionally, the PVC structure and robust buffer tubing will assure years of service.
The gadget also features synchronized, top-notch receivers that can transmit audio signals to connected gadgets. The cable is constructed with connection tips that are gold-plated and resistant to corrosion. As a result, the continuity of the impulses within the cord is guaranteed.
The device is also compatible with a huge variety of sound systems. It is clear that such outstanding compatibility can satisfy a variety of needs from the well-known 5.1 and 7.1 sound setups, Dolby devices, PCM, and LPCM.
You must take special care to ensure that the product’s tip is plugged in neatly since the product does not make the satisfying “click” sound when connected. However, the model only has a slight visual flaw and is absolutely amazing in all other aspects. We definitely recommend this product highly.
EMK Digital Optical Audio Cable Toslink Cable
EMK is a well-known cable company since it creates the most affordable goods accessible. As a result, the majority of its items are perfect for people on a tight budget, which adds to the company’s vast popularity. Another great product whose quality is not compromised just because it is not as expensive as some of the other optical audio cables.
The EMK Digital Optical Audio Cable Toslink Cable is third on this list because it is the least expensive option, making it a great option for customers on a tight budget. You still get cable lengths between 3 feet and 49 feet, which most people consider above average, despite the lower price.
The given rubber cable is rather flexible and easy to use, however, it is not the longest-lasting one. And this is a reflection of the reasonable amount EMK charges for it. The three-year warranty that this optical device has, however, is unquestionably a blessing given how much it costs. The digital optical audio cable from EMK Toslink Cable is a top-notch audio cable with a variety of lengths to pick from. Even though it lacks connectors with gold plating, it does its functions flawlessly.
This is definitely one of the best optical audio cables available in the market and gives the other cables a run for their money. On a budget, this is easily your top option, and something to consider if you want value for your money.
VANAUX 90 Degree Optical Audio Cable
The VANAUX 90-degree optical audio cable’s connecting design takes up just 0.6 inches of space, making it perfect for use in audio setups with constrained space. Compared to other full-sized cables, which may occupy up to 2.8 inches of space, this is a far more compact solution.
An extremely strong PVC jacket and corrosion-resistant gold-plated connectors made of 24K gold are features of the cable’s high-quality construction. The cable is also available in a wide variety of lengths, starting at only 3.3 feet and going all the way up to 26 feet.
A right-angle plug is attached to each end of the cable. There are two different versions of it: one has a right-angle plug on one end and one has a right-angle plug on both ends. The latter makes installation easier—even in smaller locations.
In conclusion, if your television or soundbar is positioned so that it is relatively close to the wall, the VANAUX 90-Degree Optical Audio Cable is the best option. This is due to the high likelihood that an optical fiber cable of acceptable quality won’t have enough room to join properly.
This optical audio cable is flexible, without compromising on durability. It is also one of the longest cables that are available in the market currently. The rubberized surface is another benefit that puts this cable in our top 9 optical audio cables to choose from. This is definitely one of the best optical audio cables to choose from and will provide you a great value for money.
Amazon Basics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Sound Bar TV Cable
We firmly believe that AmazonBasics’ digital optical audio cable is one of the best in the business. But in our opinion, this product is the only option for anyone looking for a reliable Toslink connection.
The Amazon Basics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Sound Bar TV Cable works with any gadget, including game consoles, CD and Blu-ray players, and the audio-video components of your home theatre. This digital fibre optic cable is reliable because it makes communications with ease. It also accommodates multi-channel audio.
One of the reasons we value it is that Amazon built this optical-fiber connection utilising materials that are durable and long-lasting. Trust us when we say that Amazon created this product to last a very long time. We draw this conclusion from the fact that it has a thin PVC coating to keep it secure, corrosion-resistant gold-plated plugs, and buffered transmission tubes inside. We want you to know that you can trust us, which is why we are providing this assurance.
The removable cable protector tips allow you to store this cable in a safe area when not in use, which reduces the chances of wear and tear, increasing the durability of the cable as well. Additionally, they will shield the delicate connection point on the line from any outside threats, helping the cable last considerably longer, giving you more value for money.
This cable is easily one of the best in the market, and definitely one that you should consider in your top picks.
StarTech.com 10 ft. Digital Optical Audio Cable
The PVC coating on the 10-foot digital optical audio cable from StarTech.com maintains the cable’s modest thickness. Despite its small size, this cable will nonetheless deliver a superb digital audio connection. This performance is attributable to the connector tips’ gold plating, which elevates the otherwise basic look of the cable.
This product has been designed to be as small, light, and compact as possible so that it may fit into even the smallest spaces. Despite this, do not be fooled by the wire’s appearance of being small size. Even though StarTech made every effort to keep the weight as low as possible, its longevity is on par with that of its competing products. Therefore, the cable’s endurance is ensured by employing a very lightweight PVC material.
Additionally, you should anticipate the highest audio quality possible, free and unaffected by audible distortions and signal interference. This is due to the fact that StarTech created these optical fiber cables to lessen the likelihood of a damaged signal. The manufacturers installed polished lenses at regular intervals along the whole length of the wire to aid in even greater signal transmission.
Additionally, there are no restrictions or concerns when linking any device to the component. It is plain to see, for instance, that StarTech created this product to be multi-compatible with many audio equipments. Let’s say you want to stream something from your TV. The sound quality will then be clean and clear, so you can do that with confidence.
All in all, this optical audio cable is one of the superior ones in the market. It is flexible, and durable, with excellent audio signal delivery. This will turn your experience of watching TV or movies into a significantly more immersive one, so you can thank us later!
CableCreation Digital Fiber Optical Cable
The best networking fiber optic cable for routing your own home audio system is from Cable Creation. You may assume that this fiber optic cable is just another common cord from its unassuming appearance. On taking a closer look, though, you will find out that that’s not the case at all.
This product is more than it first appears to be because it is made with premium materials such as flexible rubber protector tips, a flexible PVC protector jacket, and connection tips that have been gold-plated. The product’s makers made sure that the audio and signal transmission met the highest standards possible.
The cable is nearly compatible with all devices, which is great. This cable can support 5.1 to 7.1 surround systems, Dolby devices, pre-amplifiers, and audio processors. To connect to a sizable sound system, this kit comes with a 50-foot wire, just in case. Additionally, the manufacturer provides a two-year warranty in the event of flaws or any quality issues. I, therefore, believe that this transaction is risk-free.
However, use caution when connecting this connection to your electronics. The directions for removing the clear connector tip protection are not included in the packing. Remember to disconnect it before removing the clear protection.
AudioQuest Cinnamon Toslink Fiber Optic Digital Audio Cable
The AudioQuest Cinnamon Toslink Fiber Optic Digital Audio Cable is definitely our most versatile option on the list, so we saved it for last! We know AudioQuest as a reasonably high-end and luxurious optical cable manufacturer known for its robust products that offer top-notch features and longevity. The company is renowned for being a premium producer of optical cables.
However, we feel that the price is justified owing to the wide variety of features offered by this brand.
Because it is the best option available for applications demanding high levels of durability, the AudioQuest Cinnamon Toslink Fiber Optic Digital Audio Cable is a part of this list. The 1.5 m length of this optical wire. Compared to other options, the length is significantly longer. Because of this, it’s a great option for applications with high usage requirements.
Like many other cables on this list, this one comes with a rubberized surface and is extremely flexible and durable. Since it is specifically made for products with high usage requirements, it tends to be a little expensive. But, if you are in a position to spend money on an optical audio cable, you definitely should. This is because these cables only need to be bought once, and if you buy one that is of particularly good quality, it will last you quite a long time as well.
How Far Can Fiber Optic Signals Travel
Theoretically, fiber optic communications can go far. The range of optical transmission is limitless as long as signal repeaters can enhance them.
On the more pragmatic side, however, fiber optic signals encounter reliability problems if a cable is longer than five meters. Therefore, it is advised that you have a line with signal boosters if you’re planning to get a longer fiber optic cable.
Is an optical audio cable better than RCA?
While many modern systems only require an analog connection, optical media-based digital connections are increasingly ubiquitous in modern systems (RCA). RCA cables transmit both audio and video via a single connection. Optic cables are frequently more expensive than RCA cables.
The type of connection you use will ultimately be your decision. For instance, depending on the parts of your home theatre system and whether you desire stereo sound, your needs can change.
The RCA cable can be the best option if money is a factor. However, the optical cable would be a preferable option if it were more important to be compatible with contemporary systems that require digital connectivity.
Are all fiber optic cables the same?
Despite sharing the same fundamental principle—transmitting light signals—fiber optic cables frequently vary in size. The ordinary Toslink and micro Toslink are the two varieties of fiber optic cable, with the latter being significantly more compact and smaller.
Although optical audio cables are not used frequently any more, it does not mean that you will not find good quality ones in the market today. We have curated a list of the 9 Best optical audio cables that you can find, so you have a wide variety of different factors to choose from. Make sure to know exactly what your requirements are, and make a decision based on them.
As we said before, optical audio cables can tend to be a bit expensive, but it is only a one-time purchase, so it is better to buy something that is of good quality. Buying cheap ones to save money now may cause you to spend money in the long run.
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